Selling Vintage Foreign Postcards on Ebay from U.S.A.

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As an ardent collector of topographical view postcards of U.S.A., Texas and artist signed postcards of great artists such as Alphonse Mucha, Oscar Kokoschka and other artist of Weiner Werkstatte, I used to purchase large lots or collection of postcards from different venues in US, such as Estate Sales, Wholesalers and Auctions. After removing those postcards which I collected, I would be left with a huge amount of foreign and other topical postcards which kept accumulating to enormous amounts over the years. Since there is a generally held misconception in the U.S.A. among postcard collectors and dealers that Foreign postcards are of little value, I just let these foreign postcards keep accumulating over time. However later on I decided to try and sell these foreign postcards which had accumulated with me, on Ebay and see how it worked out. Today after having sold several thousand foreign postcards on Ebay, I found out that, selling foreign postcards with a base in U.S.A. works as a major advantage, since a person can acquire large lots of Foreign postcards from different venues in US at very reasonable prices, and be able to resell them individually on Ebay. Today I have two fold foreign postcards in my Ebay store, compared to US postcards. In fact most of my Ebay auctions also generally comprise mainly of foreign view postcards. 

If you do decide to sell foreign postcards from the US on Ebay, there are certain things you should be aware about before starting. Many of the common tourist views from important tourist destinations in Europe such as London, Paris, Greece, Egypt, Rome, Vienna, Brussels, Netherlands etc have little to no value even though they may be over 100 years old, as there is a great abundance of them in the market even today. Famous museum, churches, statues and other famous landmarks in Europe and other countries with popular tourist destinations share the same sad story of having very little demand. The foreign postcards with views of large cities of European, Scandinavian, Benelux, Canada, Mexico, and of popular tourist spots should not be sold individually on eBay, but can be grouped together for sale as lots of six-nine postcards at a price set so as to get around $1.50-$2.0 for each postcard.  So the fact remains that when you purchase large lots of foreign postcards in USA you will end up with 70% of low demand postcards which cannot be sold individually on eBay, as there is very little interest and demand for them. I have found over the years of acquiring large lots of foreign postcards, that the remaining 30% of the foreign postcards will consist of Real Photo Postcards (RPPC), views of small towns, villages, chromo-lithographs, multi-view, vignette postcards which have a nice demand amongst collectors of foreign view postcards. You also end up getting postcards from Asia, which include China, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Thailand, Singapore etc which realize nice prices. Then there is the wonderful word of "the reverse side of the postcard" which holds a lot of excitement as far as postal history, military history, auxiliary, ancillary markings and stamp varieties which greatly add to the value of the postcard. I have sold individual vintage postcards of foreign views from the $50-$100 range, although they average about $7-$10.

Among the foreign views, those of topographical views, street scenes, depots, costume, occupation, aerial view, panorama view, multi-view, gruss aus, chromo-lithograph and of course the most popular among them the Real Photo Postcards have the highest demand among collectors of Foreign view postcards. Foreign topical and art postcards are best if kept for sale at Buy it now prices, as they take quite a while before they eventually get sold. What about Continental Size foreign view postcards? The answer is that even they have a pretty reasonable demand if they are RPPC of street scenes, aerial view, and panorama views (1950s-1960s). I have sold several Continental Size RPPC at prices of upto $55, so please do not write off Continental size Foreign view postcards, as they too can fetch good values and have a reasonable demand unlike the popular notion of there being no demand for them. What about the hassles of shipping postcards sold on Ebay, overseas to International destinations? Well the answer is that it is not much of a problem at all. You can mail the postcard by First Class International Air-Mail in a rigid mailer and the cost can be completely covered up by a $2.99 shipping cost. What about items being lost in the mail to foreign destinations? I found that the rate of mail being lost is almost the same rate as that of shipping in the US which is very low at around one being lost in about two hundred mailings. Surprisingly 50% of my sale of foreign postcards is to buyers from the U.S.A. most of who are repeat buyers. The reason is simple, buyers of foreign postcards in the US find it cheaper to buy from a seller in USA since they can save on shipping costs, compared to buying it from overseas. What about being able to read and decipher the different languages on the foreign postcards? Well, the answer is simple, simply use the free online translator programs such as Google Translate to enable you to read the printed text on the postcard. I use Google Translate since it automatically detects the foreign language and translates it. I even use Google Translate to read and reply back to messages in foreign languages from overseas buyers. When writing the title for a postcard which is originally in a foreign language it is a good idea to also include the english translation in the title. For example if you were selling a postcard which has the caption "Drahtseilbahn nach Mürren" your title should read "Switzerland. Drahtseilbahn nach Mürren. Cable Car to Murren. Vintage Postcard" as this would result in more potential buyers being able to find your postcard through search words in English too. I have found that selling Vintage Foreign View postcards on Ebay from U.S.A. to be a very exciting and profitable venture, where I got to learn a lot about different places in other countries around the globe, and familiarize myself with their costumes and culture through the world of postcards. In fact during my trip to Europe, I got an opportunity to visit some of those excitiing places which I had seen before, only on postcards and felt nice that I already knew quite a bit about the background and history of those places thanks to my hobby of postcard collecting.

View some Vintage Topographical View / RPPC of Foreign Postcards from Poland, India, Ceylon, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, U.K., Africa, China, Japan, India, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Netherlands posted in my EBAY STORE

 

 

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